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Are longer school days working?

Updated: 12/06/2013 7:37 PM
Created: 12/06/2013 7:10 PM WHEC.com

Would your children do better in school if they spent more time in the classroom? The Rochester City School District is doing just that. With the idea that longer days mean more opportunities for children to learn.

The longer days began in September at a number of schools in the district, so we wanted to know if those extended hours are paying off for students.

We asked the district to show us if test scores are up as a result of the change. They say it's too early for that and they weren't able to show us any stats. So we spoke to school administrators, teachers and parents at one of the schools participating to find what they thought.

We're talking about an extra 300 hours per school year. The hope is to increase learning and improve standardized test scores. Administrators told News10NBC the expanded time offers students more one-on-one help. That's critical because some kids learn in different ways and at a different pace. It also allows for learning beyond the classroom. News10NBC spoke to a parent who is happy with the program and a teacher who says although the day is longer, her students now enjoy coming to school.

Sheila Howland, a parent of a student, says "I am seeing them get not just regular academics but having those academics enriched with other forms of instruction."

"I think they are enjoying coming to school because they have more joy," says teacher Amy Hine. "I know it sounds kind of  weird, but because of what we have done with extended learning, it's not that math is longer, they are having these fun electives so they want to come to school, they want to learn, they want to do projects."

To be clear, the district only allowed us to go to School 23, a school that typically has strong test scores and attendance. We're going to give the district a little more time and check back with them to see when they can provide us with updated test scores. We'll bring you an update when that happens.



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